May 23rd, 2017 By: Nora Rawlinson
In time for making summer plans this Memorial Day weekend, Entertainment Weekly has released their ranked list of the 20 must-read books of the season. It’s in the new issue featuring Wonder Woman on the cover, but not yet online.
You can play along by reading the digital review copies of the chosen titles to see if you agree. Our spreadsheet of all the titles notes which are available for direct download or request.
The top pick is a debut, See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt (Atlantic Monthly Press; RH Audio/BOT; Aug. 1; DRC available). It was inspired by a dream in which Lizzie Borden poked the author in the leg and said “I have something to tell you about my father. He has a lot to answer for.” EW says, “The resulting novel is compelling, scary – and gruesomely visceral.” The Guardian is on board too, calling it “a surprising, nastily effective” work with “irresistible momentum and fevered intensity … part fairytale, part psychodrama.”
Arundhati Roy’s return to the novel form, twenty years after The God of Small Things, is #2, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness (PRH/Knopf; RH Audio/BOT; June 6). The magazine calls it “gorgeously wrought.” Vogue says “From the novel’s beginning—’She lived in the graveyard like a tree’—one is swept up in the story.”
At #3 is New People by Danzy Senna (PRH/Riverhead; Penguin Audio; Aug. 1; DRC available). Offering a killer invitation to run out and pick it up, EW says: “You’ll gulp Senna’s novel in a single sitting but then mull it over for days.” Kirkus stars and offers a rare three exclamation points, writing “A great book about race and a great book all around.!!!”
The new graphic novel by Jillian Tamaki is #4, Boundless (Macmillan/Drawn and Quarterly; May 30): EW says the book “dazzles” and that it is “lush, vibrant, and packed with emotion.” The Comics Journal opens their review with “It’s said that great works of art are meant to be viewed at a distance from eye-level. Jillian Tamaki’s Boundless, inspires this same viewing condition.”
Dean Koontz wraps up the top 5 with The Silent Corner: A Novel of Suspense (PRH/Bantam; Recorded Books; June 20; DRC available). It is the launch of a new series and features an FBI agent trying to understand what is causing happy people to kill themselves, including her husband. The Hollywood Reporter says it is already optioned for a TV series and writes that Koontz plans to write at least five more in the series.
Several other summer previews have also been released, see our links at the right, under Season Previews. We will add to it as new lists appear.